54 People Hospitalized After 'Chemical Odor' Reported at Pa. Medical Packaging Facility

Employees reportedly experienced nausea, vomiting, and headaches

<p>6abc</p> Sharp Packaging Solutions


Sharp Packaging Solutions

More than 50 employees at a medical packaging company's facility in Pennsylvania were hospitalized after a chemical smell was reported.

Lt. Peter Nickischer of the Upper Macungie Township Police Department said in a press release that 54 Sharp Packaging Solutions employees were transported to local hospitals for evaluations following reports of a "chemical odor" on Friday.

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Nickischer said that the township’s fire department, EMS and police department were dispatched to 7451 Keebler Way in Allentown, Penn., at about 12:02 p.m. local time.

When first responders arrived, they observed several employees who were experiencing "nausea, vomiting and headaches."

“An investigation was performed by fire personnel and Lehigh County Special Operations, and no abnormal readings were indicated. At this time, there has been no determination as to the cause of the odor,” the release added.

The facility has 154 employees.

<p>Getty</p> chemical spill -- stock image


chemical spill -- stock image

A spokesperson told local NBC affiliate 10 Philadelphia that over 20 employees were sent to Lehigh Valley Hospital—Cedar Crest, while another 10 were sent to Lehigh Valley Hospital — Muhlenberg.

Although not everyone employed at Sharp Packaging Solutions who was present on Friday reported feeling ill, many were still checked out of an abundance of caution.

No serious injuries have been reported, and other minor symptoms observed included sore throats.

Related: Texas High School Says Odor That Led to Hospitalizations and Canceled Classes Was Caused by 'Stink Spray'

St. Luke's Hospital’s Allentown Campus treated another 22 employees, the hospital told local news outlet WFMZ. They are in stable condition and will be discharged, the hospital told the outlet.

Sharp Packaging Solutions also issued a statement to WFMZ.

"We are deeply grateful for the swift and thorough response from local emergency services, and we are currently working closely with local officials to investigate the source of the odor in Building 01 of our Allentown campus," the statement read.

“The building’s production floor was shut down and evacuated, and we understand those staff who experienced symptoms are recovering at area hospitals or at home," the statement continued. "At this time, Sharp’s Environment Health and Safety leaders and facility management are coordinating with local officials to investigate and address the source of the odor. The Special Operations Team from the County of Lehigh Emergency Management Agency conducted an extensive hazardous materials evaluation of the impact area and found no evidence of any hazardous chemicals or odors. We will remain in contact with local officials and keep our employees informed when we have more to share."

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